Serving all of California. Based in Los Angeles and San Diego.
We provide trauma and healing informed care and treatment, as well as one on one mentoring for those navigating the criminal/juvenile justice system and those who desire lifestyle changes from criminality and gang involvement.
Humanizing defendants: We emphasize personal and community trauma in defending clients for the purposes of mitigation.
Common factors include:
1. Childhoood and youth trauma.
2. Community trauma.
3. Prior victimization experienced by gang members.
4. Substance Use Disorders.
5. No positive role models.
We challenge gang enhancements:
PC 186.22b: the defendant committed, or attempted, a crime for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal street gang, and when the defendant committed the crime, he/she intended to assist, further, or promote criminal gang-related conduct.
Challenging false narratives about gang members and the motives for the crimes they commit. Examples of false narrative are-
1. Every crime a gang member commits is for the benefit and promotion of the gang.
2. All gang members present must actively participate in or assist in criminal activity or suffer punishment by gang members.
We effectively argue that there are many reasons that gang members commit crimes, "for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal street gang, and when the defendant committed the crime, he/she intended to assist, further, or promote criminal gang-related conduct" is not always the case. In fact, for most crimes that gang members commit that is rarely applicable. We aim to bring accurate information regarding gangs, gang culture and norms to promote equitable solutions in the courtroom.
Our mission is to advocate for youth in California as gang experts in criminal/juvenile proceedings in the Juvenile Justice System and by providing trauma/healing informed care as an alternative to extreme punishment and incarceration as credible messengers/mentors with lived experience.
As the Founder and Executive Director of JJAC, Adam has both lived and professional experience in the Criminal Justice Field. Adam grew up in a broken family and became a gang member when he was 13 years old, being introduced to the gang and criminal lifestyle by his older brother and uncles. Adam lived a lifestyle of crime, drug abuse and gang involvement, which resulted in him first being arrested at the age of 14, throughout his adolescent years, and ultimately for a gang related crime at 17 years of age. Adam was tried as an adult, and sentenced to 15 years to life, of which he served 22 years. While incarcerated, Adam realized his destructive lifestyle was hurting others, himself, and his family. Adam started working hard to change his life. Since Adam’s return to his community, he has volunteered in various capacities, including mentoring youth and adult gang members, as well as advocating for more equitable and just laws effecting juveniles and minorities in California. Adam’s professional experience includes Legal Consultant, Gang/Prison Expert, Reintegration Case Manager- Flintridge Center, Life Coach/Inside Coordinator- Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Program Manager, Office Manager/Bookkeeper, and Chief Financial and Operating Officer.
Chicana Activist passionate about racial and economic justice in communities impacted by violence and incarceration. Law student and aspiring public interest attorney. Independent forensic gang expert, trauma expert, and peace builder. Ana is an experienced Mentor to juvenile and adult gang members, a gang prevention, intervention and diversion expert with well over a decade of experience in Los Angeles and transnational gangs.
Ana’s professional experience includes Legal Assistant, Paralegal, Program Director, and Independent Forensic Gang Expert.